Bahrain. The king, Shaykh Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa, was reported in April to have pardoned 178 people accused of breaking the country’s security laws. Among the released were reportedly two Shiite opposition leaders, Imam Mohammed Maqdad and Hassan Mushaima, leader of the Haq Movement for Freedom and Democracy.
According to Countryaah, the country’s crown prince, Shaykh Salamn ibn Hamad Al Khalifa, in a debate article in the Washington Post newspaper called the Arab states in July to hold a dialogue with Israel: the other side takes the first step.
Al-Manama, the capital of Bahrain on the Persian Gulf; 157,500 residents (2010). The city is located on the northeast coast of the island of Bahrain and has for centuries been an important trading center. With oil discoveries in 1932, a rapid development was initiated with the construction of hotels, office properties, highways and a deep water port, which is now one of the Gulf’s most important.
Al-Manama has developed into one of the Middle East’s most important trading and financial centers, including head offices for several major banks and oil companies. Bahrain is a relatively liberal country in the Gulf context, and the city is a holiday destination for Saudis in particular, who have easy access to it via the mainland embankment. The National Museum (1988) was designed by the Danish architects Svend Axelsson and Knud Holscher.
Since the mid-1990’s, there have been political riots in Bahrain from time to time, and al-Manama has repeatedly been the scene of demonstrations, riots and terrorist bombings.